Communties That Care address needs of youth

In 2017, the Houghton Keweenaw Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition conducted a survey with area youth in 8th,10th, and 12th grades. The information from that survey, together with public health data, showed that our 8th grade students ranked below the national average for depressive symptoms. However, compared to the 10th grade national average of 38 percent, 46 percent of our 10th grade students display depressive symptoms. Similarly, while the 12th grade national average is 36 percent, 40 percent of our 12th grade students display depressive symptoms.

These results were quite alarming and prompted our coalition to address the risk factor of depressive symptoms through the promotion of free programming. This includes QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) training, which is offered to any person or organization that is interested in the free suicide prevention program, SOS (Signs of Suicide), which is provided to middle/high school students in our area schools, and The Blues Program, for students that have been identified with a greater risk of developing depressive symptoms.

The Blues Program is a cognitive behavioral group program that is facilitated by a licensed Social Worker. The program supports social involvement within the group and helps students build the skills needed to recognize stressors and to create a plan for handling these stressors.

Statistics show that those who are depressed are more likely to be part of the criminal justice system and to use drugs. Research has shown that there is a definite link between depression and youth problem behaviors. The Blues Program is proven to reduce depressive symptoms and drug use in teens.

If you would like more information on any of our prevention programs or how you can be a part of the Houghton Keweenaw Communities That Care please contact Mary LeDoux, CTC Coordinator at 906-482-8701, via the website houghtonkeweenawctc.com, or follow us on Facebook.

Mary LeDoux is the CTC Coordinator/Prevention Coordinator for Dial Help Inc.